To use any time management trick, you need to understand that your attention or ability to concentrate on something is the scarcest but most precious resource you have to do amazing work in your life.
I strongly believe your attention span or your ability to do deep work, is directly proportional to the value you can create. This is especially true for any knowledge worker be it coder, copywriter or fashion designer or manager.
If you seriously want to do good in your career, you need focus on important things which you are supposed to do.
But guess what, in our hyper distracted world, our attention span is at the rock bottom. There are scores of messages waiting for you on WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger at any moment. Social media feeds are designed to lure you and make you crave for more and more novelty and thus leave you distracted from your work.
Don’t get scared, I am not asking you to quit social media. So, what’s the simple time management trick I am suggesting for doing deep work?
Time Management Trick – Time Blocking
Divide your work day into time slots. At the onset of the day, fill one activity in each slot. You can also club together similar smaller activities and work on them in a slot. I also believe seeking clarity about your work by asking right questions to right people, can save lot of time.
If your main KRA is to make sales call, you can have your first 120 minutes (including the breaks, if required) slots of fresh calling followed by next slot of 30 minutes for responding to emails. Followed again by 90 minutes of 3rd slot of follow up calls.
You can fit in breaks with in the time slots. Or you can make “break” as a time slot of 15 or 30 minutes. Breaks are very important to refresh and restart. You can arrange more slots based on what work you’re supposed to do.
With trial and error, you will achieve a perfect day divided into time blocks where you do only one thing by removing distractions as much as possible. Check out this complete guide on time blocking and related techniques to master them.
If you’re a manager and you’re responsible for variety of things including team management, your time blocking schedule can look something like this –
- 9-10 am – Making client proposals
- 10-11 am – Checking & replying to emails & social media messages
- 11-12 am – Team meeting or one-to-ones
- And so on!
Trust me, this one change of using time blocking to arrange your work day, can save 2 hours wastage each done. Plus, it makes you more productive, less stressed and happier! So, start time blocking, start rocking!